home obituaries community events links contact subscribe about


-Mark McGuiness-

Mark McGuiness, 50, Silver Spring, MD, died September 22, 2010 in Bettendorf, IA.  He was an accomplished horticulturist his entire career in Washington, DC and a national expert who assisted in the research, testing, and introduction of plants to the United States.  Some of these plant introductions are available today in local garden centers.

The son of Donald and Shirley McGuiness, Mark was born on January 22, 1960 in Davenport, Iowa. He is a graduate of Davenport’s Assumption High School and attended college at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.  He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s of science in Horticulture and pursued his love of plants, animals and nature in both his professional and personal life. 

Mark was Horticulturist and Curator at the United States National Arboretum in our nation’s capital.  His early career included the restoration, improvement and maintenance of the Arboretum’s Crabapple Collection.  He was later responsible for renovation, improvement, care and maintenance of the Water Garden and Japanese Koi Collection surrounding the Arboretum’s Administration Building.  He researched and managed the installation and maintenance of a state of the art irrigation system for select areas at the Arboretum, and was responsible for the Court of Honor and the Introductions Collection. 

Mark met his wife, Karen Jean Jennings (daughter of Vivan and Eileen Jennings, Columbus Junction, IA), at Iowa State University in 1985.  With deep roots in their native Iowa, they built a life together in the Washington, DC area tethered to their strong ties to friends and family in the Midwest.  On October 28, 1998, they were married in Las Vegas, Nevada.  On December 9, 2002, their treasured daughter, Olivia Jennings McGuiness, was born.  Mark was a devoted husband and father. He shared his love for his family through teaching the beauty of nature through his wisdom, kindness, and love of hiking, gardening, music and reading. 

Mark is survived by his wife, Karen and daughter, Olivia and his dog, Chester; his parents, Don and Shirley McGuiness and sisters, Laurie Bakkum (Mark), their children, Ben, Katie and Kelsey; Kelly Ouverson (Doug), their children, Abby, Ally and Doug and Chris Hammes (Shane).

A private memorial service for Mark’s family and relatives was held on Sunday, September 26, 2010 at the Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home in Davenport, IA. 

There was a public memorial service held Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the Honts Funeral Home in Winfield, IA.  Flowers may be sent to the Honts Funeral Home.  

A Mark McGuiness memorial fund will be collected and used to create a natural memorial in his honor. Donations will be collected and may be sent to Honts Funeral Home, 102 S. Olive Street, Winfield, IA 52659.

Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed by visiting Mark’s obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com .

Return to Obituaries Home